Gulf of Aden Security Review
A regularly updated review of both Yemen and the Horn of Africa covering topics related to security, governance, and militant activity.
Yemen: Leader of the Supreme Council for the Peaceful Southern Movement publicly denounces revised Riyadh Agreement; al Houthis claim shooting down US-made surveillance drone in southwestern Saudi Arabia; Hadi-aligned forces allegedly attack STC forces in Abyan governorate; al Houthis reportedly release six Baha'i prisoners
Horn of Africa: SNA forces kill al Shabaab militants in southwestern Somalia; unidentified militants kill Somali civil servant in southern Somalia; unidentified suicide bomber kills two civilians in Somali capital; new AMISOM force commander arrives in Somalia
Yemen Security Brief:
The head of the Supreme Council for the Peaceful Southern Movement, Hassan Baoum, publicly denounced the revised Riyadh Agreement on August 2. Hassan Baoum denounced the agreement because he believes it does not recognize the right of southern Yemenis to establish a state. He commanded his supporters to escalate activities that pushed for a southern state. The internationally recognized Yemeni government of Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi and the Transitional Political Council of the South (STC) began implementing revised stipulations of the power-sharing Riyadh Agreement on July 29.
The al Houthi movement claimed shooting down a US-made surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) near Jizan city in southwestern Saudi Arabia’s Jizan region on August 2. An al Houthi official reported that the downed UAV was used for surveillance and intelligence gathering. The Houthis claimed targeting Jizan city with ballistic missiles and explosive-laden drones in mid-July.
Hadi government-aligned forces allegedly attacked STC forces near Shaqra city in Abyan governorate on August 2. Hadi government-aligned forces exchanged artillery with STC-aligned forces in Abyan governorate on July 30.
The al Houthi movement reportedly released six members of the Baha’i religious community from prison on July 30. UN officials urged the Houthis to implement the release of prisoners jailed for practicing the Baha’i religion and to drop charges against other detainees in mid-April. The Baha’i faith is a monotheistic religious minority in Yemen that draws upon elements of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Horn of Africa Security Brief:
Somali National Army (SNA) forces attacked al Shabaab militants near Jamaame town in southwestern Somalia’s Lower Jubba region on August 2. The raid killed five al Shabaab militants, including a senior al Shabaab financial official. A joint SNA and Jubbaland State security operation killed six al Shabaab militants near Koban and Bula Haji villages in Lower Jubba region in mid-July.
Unidentified militants killed a Somali district commissioner in Wanlaweyn town in southern Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region on August 2. The gunmen targeted the commissioner’s house with a grenade, wounding five bystanders. Al Shabaab militants detonated improvised explosive devices (IED) targeting a SNA commander’s home in Wanlaweyn in late June.
An unidentified suicide bomber killed two civilians at a restaurant in Hamar Jajab district of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on August 3. An al Shabaab militant detonated a suicide vehicle-borne IED targeting a tax collection center in Hamar Jajab district in early July.
Burundian Lieutenant General Diomade Ndegeya took over as Force Commander for the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) on August 2. The Burundian military officer served in Somalia from 2007 to 2012 and was a senior advisor to Burundi’s Minister of Defense. Force Commander Ndegeya will oversee efforts to transition AMISOM forces out of Somalia over the course of 2021.
 “The most prominent leader of the Southern Movement implicitly rejects the Riyadh understandings, direct his supporters to escalate and announce his return soon to Yemen,” Mareb Press, August 3, 2020, https://marebpress.net/news_details.php?lang=arabic&sid=165956; and Matthew Eady and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review, - July 31, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, July 31, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-july-31-2020.
 “Yemeni Air Defenses Shoot Down RQ-20 Spy Drone Across from Jizan,” Al Masirah, August 2, 2020, https://english.almasirah.net/details.php?es_id=14251&cat_id=1; and Matthew Eady and Zachary Jaynes, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – July 13, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, July 13, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-review-july-13-2020.
 “Suspicious movements of the Muslim Brotherhood in Abyan,” 7adramout, August 3, 2020, https://www.7adramout.net/4MAY/7455533/%D8%AA%D8%AD%D8%B1%D9%83%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D9%85%D8%B4%D8%A8%D9%88%D9%87%D8%A9-%D9%84%D9%85%D9%84%D9%8A%D8%B4%D9%8A%D8%A7-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%A3%D8%A8%D9%8A%D9%86.html; and Matthew Eady and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review, - July 31, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, July 31, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-july-31-2020.
 “Yemen's Houthis release six Baha'i prisoners,” Reuters, July 30, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-religion/yemens-houthis-release-six-bahai-prisoners-idUSKCN24V3FM; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – April 24, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 24, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-april-24-2020.
 “Five al-Shabab militants killed in southern Somalia,” CGTN, August 2, 2020, https://africa.cgtn.com/2020/08/02/five-al-shabab-militants-killed-in-southern-somalia/; and Matthew Eady and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – July 20, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, July 20, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-july-20-2020.
 Mohammed Dhaysane, “Somalia: Grenade attack kills 1, wounds 5,” Anadolu Agency, August 3, 2020, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/somalia-grenade-attack-kills-1-wounds-5/1929952; and Zachary Jaynes and Matthew Eady, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – June 22, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, June 22, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-june-22-2020.
 Harun Maruf, Twitter, August 3, 2020, https://twitter.com/HarunMaruf/status/1290252487258066944; and Zachary Jaynes and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – July 6, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, July 6, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-june-24-2020.
 “AU force gets new Force Commander in Somalia,” Garowe, August 3, 2020, https://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/somalia/au-force-gets-new-force-commander-in-somalia